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City of Reykjavík
Reykjavíkurborg
Central Reykjavík seen from Hallgrímskirkja

Flag

Coat of arms
City of Reykjavík is located in Iceland
City of Reykjavík
Location in Iceland
Coordinates: 64°08′N 21°56′W / 64.133°N 21.933°W / 64.133; -21.933
Country  Iceland
Constituency Reykjavík North
Reykjavík South
Government
 - Mayor (Borgarstjóri) Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir
Area
 - City 274.5 km2 (106 sq mi)
 - Metro 777 km2 (300 sq mi)
Population (October 1, 2008)
 - City 120,165
 Density 436.5/km2 (1,130.5/sq mi)
 Metro 201,847
 - Metro Density 259.4/km2 (671.8/sq mi)
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)
Website http://www.rvk.is/
Postal Codes: 101-155

Reykjavík (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈreiːcaviːk]( listen)) is the capital and largest city of Iceland. Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay. With a population of around 120,000 (and over 200,000 in the Greater Reykjavík Area) it is the heart of Iceland's economic and governmental activity.

Reykjavík is believed to be the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland, which Ingólfur Arnarson is said to have established around 870. Until the 18th century, there was no urban development in the city location. The city was founded in 1786 as an official trading town and grew steadily over the next decades, as it transformed into a regional and later national centre of commerce, population and governmental activities.

Today, Reykjavík is the centre of the Greater Reykjavík Area which, with a population of 202,000, is the only metropolitan area in Iceland. As a highly modernized capital of one of the most developed countries in the world, its inhabitants enjoy a first-class welfare system and city infrastructure. Its location, only slightly south of the Arctic Circle, receives only four hours of daylight on the shortest day in the depth of winter; during the summer the nights are almost as bright as the days. It has continued to see population growth in past years as well as growth in areas of commerce and industry. Reykjavík was ranked first on Grist Magazine's "15 Greenest Cities" list in 2008.[1]

Contents

Geography

Reykjavík is located in southwest Iceland. The Reykjavík area coastline is characterized by peninsulas, coves, straits, and islands.

During the Ice Age (up to 10,000 years ago) a large glacier covered parts of the city area, reaching as far out as Álftanes. Other parts of the city area were covered by sea water. In the warm periods and at the end of the Ice Age, some hills like Öskjuhlíð were islands. The former sea level is indicated by sediments (with clams) reaching (at Öskjuhlíð, for example) as far as 43 m (141.08 ft) above the current sea level. The hills of Öskjuhlíð and Skólavörðuholt appear to be the remains of former shield volcanoes which were active during the warm periods of the Ice Age.

After the Ice Age, the land rose as the heavy load of the glaciers fell away, and began to look as it does today.

But the capital city area continued to be shaped by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, like the one 4500 years ago in the mountain range Bláfjöll, when the lava coming down the Elliðaá valley reached the sea at the bay of Elliðavogur.

The largest river to run through Reykjavík is the Elliðaá River, which is non-navigable. It is one of the best salmon fishing rivers in the country. Mt. Esja, at 914 m (2,998.69 ft), is the highest mountain in the vicinity of Reykjavík.

The city of Reykjavík is mostly located on the Seltjarnarnes peninsula, but the suburbs reach far out to the south and east. Reykjavík is a spread-out city; most of its urban area is in the form of low-density suburbs, and houses are usually widely spaced. The outer residential neighbourhoods are also widely spaced from each other; in between them run the main traffic arteries and a lot of empty space.

Panorama of Reykjavík seen from Perlan with the mountains Akrafjall (middle) and Esja (right) in the background

Climate

Despite its extreme north Atlantic location, Reykjavík is much warmer than most locations at a similar latitude. The average mid-winter temperatures are not significantly lower than those in New York City[2]. Temperatures very rarely drop below −10 °C (14 °F) in the winter. This is because the Icelandic coastal weather in winter is moderated by the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. The climate is subpolar oceanic, and the city is on the northern edge of the temperate zone. The city's coastal location does make it prone to wind, however, and gales are common in winter. Summers are cool, with temperature fluctuating between 10 to 15 °C (50 to 59 °F), sometimes exceeding 20 °C (68 °F). Reykjavík is not a particularly wet city, but it nevertheless averages 213 days with measurable precipitation every year. Droughts are not common although they occur in some summers. In the summer of 2007 not a single drop of rain was measured for one month. Spring tends to be the sunniest season, May particularly. Annual sunshine hours in Reykjavík are around 1,300, which is comparable with other places in Northern and North-Eastern Europe. The highest ever recorded temperature in Reykjavík was 26.2 °C (79 °F), recorded on July 30, 2008, while the lowest ever recorded temperature was −24.5 °C (−12 °F), recorded on January 21, 1918.[3] The temperature has not dropped to below -20 C° (-4 F°) since January 30, 1971.[4]

Climate data for Reykjavík
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 1.9
(35)
2.8
(37)
3.2
(38)
5.7
(42)
9.4
(49)
11.7
(53)
13.3
(56)
13.0
(55)
10.1
(50)
6.8
(44)
3.4
(38)
2.2
(36)
7.0
(45)
Average low °C (°F) -3.0
(27)
-2.1
(28)
-2.0
(28)
0.4
(33)
3.6
(38)
6.7
(44)
8.3
(47)
7.9
(46)
5.0
(41)
2.2
(36)
-1.3
(30)
-2.8
(27)
1.9
(35)
Precipitation mm (inches) 75.6
(2.98)
71.8
(2.83)
81.8
(3.22)
58.3
(2.3)
43.8
(1.72)
50.0
(1.97)
51.8
(2.04)
61.8
(2.43)
66.5
(2.62)
85.6
(3.37)
72.5
(2.85)
78.7
(3.1)
798.2
(31.43)
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN) [5] 2010-01-10

Cityscape

Panorama of the northern seashore of Reykjavík, as seen from Örfirisey.

History

Ingólfr commands his high seat pillars to be erected in this painting by Johan Peter Raadsig.
Reykjavík in the 1860s
Colorful rooftops line Reykjavík.
Tjörnin (The Pond) in central Reykjavík.

The first permanent settlement in Iceland by Nordic people is believed to have been established in Reykjavík by the Norseman Ingólfur Arnarson around AD 870; this is described in Landnámabók, or the Book of Settlement. Ingólfur Arnarson is said to have decided the location of his settlement using a traditional Viking method; by dumping his high seat pillars, Öndvegissúlur, in the ocean when he saw the coastline and then settled where the pillars came to shore. Steam from hot springs in the region is supposed to have inspired Reykjavík's name, as Reykjavík loosely translates to "Bay of Smokes". Reykjavík is not mentioned in any medieval sources except as a regular farm land but the 18th century saw the beginning of urban concentration there. The Danish rulers of Iceland backed the idea of domestic industry in Iceland that would help to stimulate much-needed progress on the island. In 1752, the King of Denmark donated the estate of Reykjavík to the Innréttingar Corporation; the name comes from Danish "indretninger", meaning enterprise. The leader of this movement was Skúli Magnússon. In the 1750s several houses were constructed to house the wool industry that was to be Reykjavík's most important employer for a few decades and the original reason for its existence. Other crafts were also practised by the Innréttingar, such as fisheries, sulphur mining, agriculture, and shipbuilding.

The Danish Crown abolished monopoly trading in 1786 and granted six communities around the country an exclusive trading charter, Reykjavík was one of them and the only one to hold on to the charter permanently. 1786 is regarded as the date of the city's founding; its 200th anniversary was celebrated in 1986. Trading rights were still limited to the subjects of the Danish Crown however, and Danish traders continued to dominate trade in Iceland. Over the following decades, their business in Iceland expanded. After 1880, free trade was expanded to all nationalities and the influence of Icelandic merchants started to grow.

Rise of Nationalism

Nationalist sentiment gained influence in the 19th century and ideas of Icelandic independence became widespread. Reykjavík, as Iceland's only city, was the melting pot of such ideas. Advocates of an independent Iceland realized that a strong Reykjavík was fundamental to that objective. All the important years in the history of the independence struggle are important for Reykjavík as well. In 1845, Alþingi, or the general assembly that Icelanders formed in 930, was re-established in Reykjavík; it had been suspended a few decades earlier when it was located at Thingvellir. At the time it only functioned as an advisory assembly with the function of advising the King about Icelandic affairs. The location of Alþingi in Reykjavík effectively established the city as the capital of Iceland. In 1874 Iceland was given a constitution and with it, Alþingi gained some limited legislative powers and in essence became the institution that it is today. The next step was to move most of the executive power to Iceland and that was done by Home Rule in 1904 when the office of minister for Iceland was established in Reykjavík. The biggest step towards an independent Iceland was taken December 1, 1918 when Iceland became a sovereign country under the Crown of Denmark, the Kingdom of Iceland.

In the 1920s and 1930s most of the growing Icelandic fishing trawler fleet sailed from Reykjavík and salt-cod production was the main industry but the Great Depression hit Reykjavík hard with unemployment and labour union struggles that sometimes became violent.

World War II

In the morning of May 10, 1940, following the German occupation of Denmark on April 9, four warships approached Reykjavík and anchored in the harbour. Many citizens were relieved to find that they were British rather than German. In a few hours, the allied occupation of Reykjavík was complete. There was no armed resistance and taxi and truck drivers even assisted the invasion force which had no motor vehicles initially. The Icelandic government had received many requests from the British government to consent to the occupation, but they always declined on the basis of the Neutrality Policy. For the remaining years of World War II, British and later American soldiers built bases in Reykjavík; the number of foreign soldiers in Reykjavík became about the same as the local population of the city.

The economic effects of the occupation were quite positive for Reykjavík: the unemployment of the depression years vanished and a lot of construction work was done. The British built Reykjavík Airport, which is still in service today, mostly serving domestic flights; the Americans built Keflavík Airport that later became Iceland's primary international airport, situated 50 km from Reykjavík. In 1944 the Republic of Iceland was founded and a president elected in popular elections replaced the King; the office of the president was placed in Reykjavík.

Post-war development

In the post-war years, the growth of Reykjavík accelerated. A mass exodus from the rural countryside began, largely due to improved technology in agriculture that reduced the need for manpower, and because of the population boom resulting from better living conditions in the country. Young people in the prime of their lives were the largest group to move to the capital to live the "Reykjavík Dream", and the city became a city of children. A once primitive village was rapidly transformed into a modern city. Private cars became common and modern apartment complexes rose in the expanding suburbs. Much of Reykjavík lost its village feel. In 1972, Reykjavík hosted the world chess championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky.

Reykjavík has in the last two decades become a significant player in the global community. The 1986 Reykjavík Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev underlined Reykjavík's new-found international status. Deregulation in the financial sector and the computer revolution of the 1990s have transformed Reykjavík yet again. The financial sector and information technology are now significant employers in the city. The city has fostered some world famous talents in recent years, such as Björk and bands Múm and Sigur Rós.

City Administration

Reykjavík City Hall

The City Council governs the city of Reykjavík according to law number 45/1998[6] and is directly elected by those aged over 18 domiciled in the city. The council has 15 members who are elected for 4 year terms. The council selects members of boards, and each board controls a different field under the city council's authority. The most important board is the City Board that wields the executive rights along with the City Mayor. The City Mayor is the senior public official and also the director of city operations. Other public officials control city institutions under the mayor's authority.Thus the administration consists of two different parts:

  • The political power of City Council cascading down to other boards
  • Public officials under the authority of the city mayor who administer and manage implementation of policy

Political control

The Independence Party had overall control of the city council from the party's establishment in 1929 until 1978, when they narrowly lost their overall majority. From 1978 to 1982 the People's Alliance, the Social Democratic Party and the Progressive Party formed the majority of the council.
The Independence Party regained overall control in the 1982 elections, and held it until 1994. At that election its opponents had formed an alliance, called Reykjavíkurlistinn, or the R-list. That alliance had overall control until 2006. In the May 2006 elections the electorate could choose between five different parties, three of which had formed the R-list. The Independence Party obtained 7 members of the council, and thus failed to gain overall control, but together with the Progressive Party, and its one council member, they were able to form a new majority in the council which took over in June 2006. In October 2007 a new majority was formed on the council, consisting of members of the Progressive Party (1), the Social Democratic Alliance (4), the Left-Greens (2) and the F-list (1) (liberals and independents), after controversy regarding REI, a subsidiary of OR, the city's energy company. However three months later the leader of the F-list formed a new majority together with the Independence Party. Ólafur F. Magnússon, the leader of the F-list, was elected mayor on 24 January 2008, and in March 2009 the Independence Party was due to appoint a new mayor. This changed once again on 14 August 2008 when the fourth majority of the season was formed, when the Independence Party and the Progressive party took over again, with Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir becoming mayor.

The Mayor

The mayor is appointed by the city council; usually one of the council members is chosen but they may also appoint a mayor who is not a member of the council.

The office of mayor was introduced from 1907, and in 1908 applications for that position were requested. Two applications were received, from Páll Einarsson, sheriff and town mayor of Hafnarfjörður and from Knud Zimsen, town councillor in Reykjavík. Páll was appointed on 7 May and was mayor for six years. At that time the city mayor received a salary of 4500IKR per year and 1500IKR for office expenses.

Timeline of mayors

Mayor From To
Páll Einarsson 1908 1914
Knud Zimsen 1914 1932
Jón Þorláksson 1932 1935
Pétur Halldórsson 1935 1940
Bjarni Benediktsson 8 October 1940 4 February 1947
Gunnar Thoroddsen 4 February 1947 6 October 1960
Auður Auðuns and
Geir Hallgrímsson
19 November 1959 6 October 1960
Geir Hallgrímsson 6 October 1960 1 December 1972
Birgir Ísleifur Gunnarsson 1 December 1972 15 August 1978
Egill Skúli Ingibergsson 15 August 1978 27 May 1982
Davíð Oddsson 27 May 1982 16 July 1991
Markús Örn Antonsson 16 July 1991 17 March 1994
Árni Sigfússon 17 March 1994 13 June 1994
Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir 13 June 1994 1 February 2003
Þórólfur Árnason 1 February 2003 30 November 2004
Steinunn Valdís Óskarsdóttir 30 November 2004 13 June 2006
Vilhjálmur Þ. Vilhjálmsson 13 June 2006 16 October 2007
Dagur B. Eggertsson 16 October 2007 24 January 2008
Ólafur F. Magnússon 24 January 2008 21 August 2008
Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir 21 August 2008 Incumbent

Demographics

Reykjavík is the largest and most populous settlement in Iceland. Present-day Reykjavík is a multicultural city with people from at least 100 countries. The most common ethnic minorities are Poles, Filipinos, and Danes. In 2009, foreign-born individuals made up 9.0% of the total population.[7] In the 18th century, Danish and Norwegian merchants were a sizable minority in Reykjavík.

Historical population of Reykjavík.
Year City Metro
1801 600 -
1860 1,450 -
1901 6,321 8,221
1910 11,449 14,534
1920 17,450 21,347
1930 28,052 33,867
1940 38,308 43,483
1950 55,980 64,813
1960 72,407 88,315
1970 81,693 106,152
1980 83,766 121,698
1985 89,868 --
1990 97,569 145,980
1995 104,258 --
2000 110,852 175,000
2005 114,800 187,105
2006 115,420 191,612
2007 117,721 196,161
2008 119,848 201,585

The population of Reykjavík in July 2008 was 119,900, the combined population of the Greater Reykjavík Area being about 200,969. Six of the municipalities of Iceland are in the capital city area, those are as listed below:

Districts/suburbs

Miðbær
Hlíðar
Háaleiti
Laugardalur
Árbær
Úlfarsfell

Economy

Borgartún is the financial centre of Reykjavík, hosting a large number of companies and three investment banks.

Major companies

Infrastructure

Reykjavík Airport.

Roads

Per capita car ownership in Iceland is among the highest in the world at roughly 522 vehicles per 1,000 residents[10], though Reykjavík is not severely affected by congestion. Wide multi-lane highways run all over the city connecting the different neighbourhoods and suburbs. Parking spaces are also plentiful in most areas. Public transportation consists only of a bus system (called Strætó bs) and is not very popular in this car-friendly city. Route 1 (the Ring Road) runs by the city outskirts and connects it to the rest of Iceland.

Airports and seaports

Reykjavík Airport, the second largest airport in the country (after Keflavík International Airport), is positioned inside the city, just south of the city centre. It is mainly used for domestic flights as well as flights to Greenland and the Faroe Islands. It was built there by the British occupation force during World War II , when it was on the outskirts of the then much smaller Reykjavík. In recent years there has been some controversy regarding the location of the airport, since it takes up a lot of valuable space in central Reykjavík.

Reykjavík has two seaports, the old harbour near the city centre which is mainly used by fishermen and Cruise ships and Sundahöfn in the east city which is the largest cargo port in the country.

Railways

Two steam locomotives were used to build the harbour Reykjavík Docks railway; both are now on display in Reykjavík.

There are no public railways in Iceland, due to its terrain, but the locomotives used to build the docks are on display.

Heating

Abundant water and volcanic activity in Iceland have provided Reykjavík with a unique opportunity. Most houses in Reykjavík use the geothermal heating system. It is the largest system of this kind in the world.

Cultural heritage

The "Culture House" was opened in 1909 and has a number of important exhibits. Originally the National Museum and Natural History Museum, in 2000 it was re-modelled to promote the Icelandic national heritage. Many of Iceland's national treasures are on display, such as the Poetic Edda, and the Sagas, in their original manuscripts. There are also changing exhibitions on various topics.[11]

Lifestyle

Nightlife

Laugavegur main street in downtown Reykjavík
Laugavegur main street in downtown Reykjavík

Reykjavík is often dubbed "the nightlife capital of the north".[12] It is famous for its nightlife during the weekends. Icelanders tend to go out late so bars that look rather quiet can fill up suddenly—usually after midnight on a weekend.

One of the main causes for this is that alcohol is relatively expensive at bars. People tend to drink at home before going out. Beer was banned in Iceland until 1 March 1989, but has since become popular among many Icelanders as their alcoholic drink of choice.[13] Beer, however, is expensive: half a litre of beer in an Icelandic bar can cost between 600 and 850 krónur (approx. US$5–7, €3–5, or £3–4 as of August 2009). Consequently, revelers will often leave home late and are already inebriated when they arrive at the bars in the city centre.

There are over 100 different bars and clubs in Reykjavík; most of them are located on Laugavegur and its side streets. It is very common for an establishment that is a café before dinner to turn into a bar in the evening. Closing time is usually around 6 am at weekends and 1 am during the week.

New Year's Eve

The arrival of the new year is a particular cause for celebration to the people of Reykjavík. Icelandic law states that anyone may purchase and use fireworks during a certain period around New Year's Eve. Most places that sell fireworks in Iceland make their own rules about age of buyers; usually it is around 16. The people of Reykjavík spend enormous sums of money on fireworks, most of which are fired as midnight approaches on December 31. As a result, every New Year's Eve the city is lit up with fireworks displays.

Main sights

Perlan (The Pearl) at night.

Education

Secondary schools

Universities

Sports teams

In 1976 the winter friendship games were hosted in Reykjavík. These are in substitution of the Winter Olympics which were also hosted that year.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Grist Magazine". http://grist.org/news/maindish/2007/07/19/cities/. Retrieved October 3, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Go Scandinavia: Reykjavík City Profile". http://goscandinavia.about.com/od/cityprofilereykjavik/p/aboutreykjavik.htm. 
  3. ^ "Nokkur íslensk veðurmet". http://andvari.vedur.is/vedurfar/yfirlit/yfirlitstoflur/vedurmet.html. Retrieved 2008-07-17. 
  4. ^ "Mánaðargildi fyrir stöð 001 - Reykjavík" (TXT). Veðurstofa Íslands. http://andvari.vedur.is/vedurfar/yfirlit/medaltalstoflur/Stod_001_Reykjavik.ManMedal.txt. 
  5. ^ "World Weather Information Service - Reykjavik". WMO. http://worldweather.wmo.int/097/c00189.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-10. 
  6. ^ "1998 nr. 45 3. júní/ Sveitarstjórnarlög". Althingi.is. http://www.althingi.is/lagas/128b/1998045.html. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  7. ^ Reference Icelandic Statistical Bureau: http://www.hagstofa.is/?PageID=626&src=/temp/Dialog/varval.asp?ma=MAN04211%26ti=Erlendir+r%EDkisborgarar+%ED+Reykjav%EDk+eftir+hverfum+2002%2D2009+%26path=../Database/mannfjoldi/Rikisfang/%26lang=3%26units=Fj%F6ldi%20/%20Hlutfall
  8. ^ "Location." Icelandair Group. Retrieved on 28 December 2009.
  9. ^ "The Company." Iceland Express. Retrieved on 28 September 2009.
  10. ^ "Motor vehicles (most recent) by country". United Nations World Statistics Pocketbook. NationMaster.com. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/tra_mot_veh-transportation-motor-vehicles. 
  11. ^ Guide leaflet to the Culture House 2008, published by the National Centre for Cultural Heritage.
  12. ^ "Info Iceland, Reykjavík - nightlife capital of the north". Infoiceland.is. http://www.infoiceland.is/infoiceland/nightlife/reykjavik_nightlife/nightclubs_in_reykjavik/. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  13. ^ "The Dynamics of Shifts in Alcoholic Beverage Preference: Effects of the Legalization of Beer in Iceland". Questia.com. http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst;jsessionid=GWNJYhhJ9lt0MbY6X86ny7Z6LKLhJbqnBs8QyfG9sGJx6JvRT1qN!-1963512867?docId=5001321944. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 

References

External links

This audio file was created from a revision dated 2008-06-23, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. (Audio help)
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Coordinates: 64°08′00″N 21°56′00″W / 64.1333333°N 21.9333333°W / 64.1333333; -21.9333333


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Reykjavik article)

From Wikitravel

Reykjavík [1] is the capital and largest city of Iceland with a population of 117,706. The greater Reykjavik area has a population of 196 564 and the majority of Iceland's total population.

Reykjavík Old Town and Hallgrímskirkja
Reykjavík Old Town and Hallgrímskirkja

Understand

Reykjavík is the capital of Iceland. It is the center of culture and life of the Icelandic people. It is also the tourist capital of Iceland. Reykjavík is a city that wasn't built up for tourism, so tourists can get a nice view of tourist things at the same time experiencing how Icelanders live their lives.

  • Keflavík International Airport (Icelandic: Keflavíkurflugvöllur, IATA: KEF, ICAO: BIKF), +354 425 0600 (fax: +354 425 0610), [2]. Keflavík International Airport is Iceland's main international airport, and is located 30 miles (50 KM) from Reykjavík in the town of Keflavík.   edit
  • Reykjavík Airport (Icelandic: Reykjavíkurflugvöllur, IATA: RKV, ICAO: BIRK). Located in the center of Reykjavik and mainly used for domestic air traffic   edit

Icelandair [3] is the main international airline of Iceland. Nonstop flights on Icelandair are available from the U.S. and Canada, with gateways in New York City, Boston, Halifax, Toronto, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando (Sanford), and, beginning July 22nd, 2009, Seattle. Destinations beyond Iceland include most major European cities (i.e. Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Helsinki, London, Oslo, Madrid, Manchester, Milan, Munich, Paris, Stockholm, Bergen and Gothenburg), with Icelandair's hub-and-spoke network connecting via Keflavik in Iceland. (Please note that some destinations are seasonal.) You can also stopover in Iceland for up to seven nights at no additional airfare on your way to or from Europe.

Iceland Express [4] is another international airliner which serves many European cities.

The main domestic airline, Flugfélag Íslands (Air Iceland [5]) has daily domestic flights to Akureyri, Egilsstaðir, Ísafjörður and Vestmannaeyjar, including international destinations to Faroe Islands, Kulusuk, Narsarsuaq, and Constable Point.

SAS [6] also has flights to Iceland from Scandinavia

German Wings [7] operates flights to Keflavik from Cologne during the summer.

By car

There are rental car services all over Iceland, and many in Reykjavík such as Hertz, Avis, and National Rent-a-car. The cheapest car at the cheapest dealer you may find would average out to about 5500 ISK each day. If you intend to just stay in Reykjavík, renting a car is not necessary as the bus system is great and it is easy to walk around. But if you plan to leave Reykjavík to the countryside, then renting a car is the best way to experience Iceland.

By bus

Once you have landed at Keflavík, the most common way to get to Reykjavík is by the FlyBus (Coach). Its first stop in Reykjavík is the main bus terminal, called BSÍ (45 minute ride), which is within walking distance of the city centre. The coach then takes you into the city and drops people off at the major hotels. It is neccesary to tell the driver that you are intending to go to a specific hotel before the bus leaves from Keflavík. If, for some reason, the FlyBus does not stop at your hotel, you can take local buses nr. 1, 3, 6, 14 and 15 from just across the street from the BSÍ bus terminal (which is only a terminal for the nationwide bus system, not the capital area bus system, called Strætó).

By boat

If you have an abundance of time, it is possible to take the Smyril Line (a cruise company based out of the Faroe Islands) from Bergen to Seyðisfjörður (a small town on the east of Iceland), via Tórshavn. This service is on the expensive side, and puts you on the other side of the country. However, it offers the possibility of bringing a car, which can be one of the best ways to travel around Iceland, and Reykjavík.

Tjörnin Pond
Tjörnin Pond

Walking in Reykjavík is highly recommended, as many attractions are within walking distance from the hotel area. The city is very beautiful, and the sidewalk and pathway system is first-rate. Reykjavík drivers are in general very friendly, and will sometimes stop for you even when there is no crossing facility.

Unknown to many tourists a very long and scenic pathway for walking and cycling circles almost the whole city. A good starting point is anywhere where the city touches the sea. The path leads through an outdoor swimming pool, a sandy beach, a golf course and a salmon river.

By car

Driving in Reykjavík is the preferred method for most residents there. As a tourist though, a bus card wouldn't go astray as you can take it almost anywhere in the capital area despite their latest change to routes. Driving is recommended though for travel outside of Reykjavík and its suburbs. Compared to most other modern European cities, Reykjavík actually manages to have a reasonable amount of parking spaces, especially for a city that boasts the most cars per capita in the world.

By bus

Reykjavík has a public bus system that is clean and reliable. Single rides cost 280 ISK. If you're staying outside the city served by a bus route (the hostel + campground) it's best to get a Reykjavík Tourist Card, which allows unlimited access to the buses, along with free museums and free internet at the hostel. The tourist cards are available at the Tourist Information Center near the main square, and also at some hotels. A one-day card costs 1200 ISK, two days costs 1700 ISK, and three days costs 2200 ISK.

Depending on the frequency you use the bus system, Strætó [8], you might want to buy a bus pass. Bus passes may be purchased at all Reykjavík bus stations (Lækjartorg, Hlemmur, Mjódd etc.) The bus system is very fast and very reliable. Most areas of interest in Reykjavík are accessible by bus.

By bicycle

It is easy to get around Reykjavík by bicycle. There is a relatively good network of bicycle paths linking different parts of the city together and it is easy to cycle on the streets or pavements. Cycling is not very popular with locals and so you should be aware that drivers are not very used to cyclists on the road. A map of cycling routes can be found here: [9]. Bicycles can be rented at the following locations:

  • BSÍ bus terminal, Vatnsmýrarvegi 10 (This is the bus terminal you stop at if you take the bus from the airport to Reykjavík).  edit
  • Borgarhjól, Hverfisgötu 50 (the same street as the national theater and other important buildings), +354 551 5653 (), [10]. Weekdays: 8am - 6pm, Saturday: 10am - 2pm. Half a day: 3000 ISK, 24 hours: 3600 ISK, Week or longer: 3000 ISK pr. day.  edit
  • The Old Town is easy to walk around. The houses in Reykjavík have very distinct features, most notably their brightly colored corrugated metal siding. Plan to spend at least a couple hours just wandering around.
  • The Perlan (The Pearl) has fantastic views of the entire city and has a rotating restaurant on top of the water towers. You don't need to dine there to access the viewing platform. It's open to the public, but the food is recommended and good. The views are fantastic.
  • The National Cathedral, located next to Althingi and is a very small church.
  • Tjörnin Lake (also known as Reykjavík Pond) is where you can find Reykjavík City Hall. The young and old gather to feed the ducks here, too. Don't forget to bring some bread.
  • Alþingi, that is the parliament, is located by Austurvöllur, a green spot in the middle of downtown Reykjavík close to the pond, it is a big stone building with a new extention (c.a. 2005).
  • National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafn Íslands), Suðurgata 41 (Bus no. 1,3,4,5,6,12 and 14 stop in front of or near the museum.), +354 530-2200 (, fax: +354 530-2201), [11]. Winter (September 16th - April 30th): Daily except Mondays 11-17. Summer (May 1st - September 15th): Daily 10-17.. The National Museum has a restaurant with a good view of the city. Admission: Adults: 800 ISK; Children (Under 18): Free; Seniors, Students, Groups (10+): 400 ISK; Wednesdays: Free.   edit
  • Hallgrímskirkja (Church), Skólavörðuholti, (), [12]. Hours: Mass: Sunday 11:00; Church tower: Daily 09:00 - 20:00. This can't miss attraction towers over the city on top of a hill. In front is a statue of Leif Ericsson, the Viking explorer who sailed to North America in the 10th century. The United States gave this statue to Iceland in 1930, in honor of the 1,000th anniversary of the Althingi, the Iceland parliament. As of June 2008, the church was undergoing renovation, obstructing the view from the front (downtown) of the tower. As of January 5th 2010, the Church is closed for construction for 6-8 weeks. Admission to the tower: Adults: 400 ISK, Children (6 - 12) 50 ISK.  edit
  • The Culture House (''Þjóðmenningarhúsið''), Hverfisgata 15, +354 545 1400, [13]. Everyday from 11am to 5pm. The great museum has two world class exhibitions. On the ground floor is one of the most important collections of medieval manuscripts in the world, including many of the oldest copies of the Icelandic Sagas. The top floor has an impressive exhibition on the Volcanic island of Surtsey, it is to back the island's campaign to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is fully interactive and a great introduction to the geological hot spot that is Iceland. 300 kr; Senior, Students: 200 ISK; Under 16: Free; Free on Wednesdays..  edit
  • Reykjavík Domestic Animal Zoo, Hafrafell v/ Engjaveg, +354 57 57 800 (, fax: +354 57 57 801), [14]. Admission: Adults (12 years +): 450 ISK, Children (Under 4 years): Free, Children (4 - 12): 350 ISK.  edit
  • Reykjavik Museum of Photography, Grófarhús, Tyggvagata 15, 6. Haed. 101 Reykjavik, [15]. 10-16 (Mo-Fr) and 13-17 (weekends). A very small museum with a nice library and reading room where you can find some older (but good) books about photography and current and past issues of photography magazines. It also has a huge collection of Icelandic photographs.  edit
  • Imagine Peace Tower, Viðey Island, across from Reykjavik's harbor, [16]. Yoko Ono's memorial to John Lennon, projecting a "tower of light" into the air.  edit
  • Bicycle tours of Reykjavik Iceland bike offers easy-ride bicycle tours of Reykjavik. [17].
  • Horse riding is a very popular activity amongst locals as well as visitors. Many companies offer one hour to week long trips. Short trips (1-2 hours) are also offered for people with no previous riding experience [18]. The Icelandic Horse is very well suited for novice/first-time riders.
  • Whale watching/sea Angling sightings of whales, dolphins and puffins (depends on season) are frequent around Reykjavík. Trips can be booked directly with companies at Reykjavík Harbour. Trips usually last about 3 hours and cost about 4000ISK. Tourists office often provides discount flyers. Trips usually run from April to October as weather is too unpredictable in Winter.
    • Life of Whales, (Departure point is from Reykjavik harbour.), +354 562 2300, [19]. 3 hours. Whale Watching tour boat operator. Available Whale watching tours as well as Puffin tours and Sea angling tours. Also provides a special tours called 3 in 1 which includes all in the same trip called (whale watching, Puffins and fishing). Waiting-lounge in the Lobster-Ship Restaurant. 45 euro.  edit
  • White water rafting/watersports watersports are available from April to October.
  • Snowmobiling/Dog sledging snowsports are available from end of October to April.
  • Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Háskólabíó v/Hagatorg, +354 545 2500 (, fax: +354-562-4475), [20].  edit
Laugardalslaug geothermal pool
Laugardalslaug geothermal pool

Outdoor Geo-Thermal Swimming Pools are an important part of Icelandic culture and a visit to them is a great way to relax with Icelanders. In fact it is not stretching the truth too far to suggest that because drinking is so expensive the hot-pots at these pools serve the same role that pubs and bars do in the rest of Europe.

  • Laugardalslaug, Sundlaugarveg (In the same complex as the National Stadium. Near campsite and youth hostel), +354 411 5100 (), [21]. The city's largest pool with extensive facilities, situated in Laugardalur Valley. It has two large pools for swimming, several hot-pots, a steam bath, and water slide. It is a well-used large complex that is starting to show its age a little but it is still the best option in the city centre. 360 ISK.  edit
  • Árbæjarlaug, Fylkisveg, 110 Reykjavík, +354 411 5200 (), [22]. Weekdays: 6:30am - 10:30p, Weekends summer: 8am - 10pm, winter: 8am - 8:30pm. A brand new complex on the outskirts of the city, it has nice views over the city centre and is a nice place to watch the sunset. There is an indoor and outdoor pool, a waterslide, several hot-pots and a steam bath. This is a favourite with families and is perhaps the nicest of the city's pools. Buses run here from central Reykjavik. 350 ISK.  edit
  • Sundhollin Swimming Centre, Baronsstigur, 101 Reykjavik (Located a few minutes from Hallgrimskirkja), +354 411 5350 (), [23]. Weekdays: 6:30am - 9pm, Weekends: 8am - 7pm. The city's oldest and only indoor pool (with outdoor hot-pots), located in the city centre. Has a more municipal feel than the other pools, but has a very central location.  edit
  • Vesturbæjarlaug, Hofsvallagata, 107 Reykjavik (Located a few minutes from Hotel Saga and the University of Iceland), +354 411 5150 (), [24]. Weekdays: 6:30am - 10pm, Weekends: 8am - 8pm. The city's oldest outdoor pool. Located in a residential area but within a walking distance of the city center.  edit
  • Nautholsvik Thermal Beach, (To the south of the domestic airport), 511 6630, [25]. 10:00 to 20:00 from 15th May until 15th September. Here you can swim in the Atlantic, because they pipe hot water into the ocean. A beach of golden sand has been created and a “pool” has been enclosed nearby, where the water temperature is about 20ºC. There are several hot-pots. Refreshments and various services are available at the beach.  edit

It is possible to hire swimsuits and towels at all the pools. As Icelandic pools have very minimal amounts of chemicals in them it is very important to shower thoroughly naked beforehand, and pay attention to the notices and posters that highlight hygiene issues.

  • University of Iceland, Sudurgata 1, +354 525 4000 (, fax: +354 552 1331), [26].  edit
  • Reykjavík University, +354 599 6200 (, fax: +354 599 6201), [27].  edit

Buy

Laugavegur, the main shopping street, has many funky boutiques, with both Icelandic and international designs. Skólavörðustígur, which runs up to Hallgrimskirkja, has a range of souvenir and craft shops where you can find a perfect gift for the family.

If you yearn for international chains such as Zara and Debenhams, then head to one of 2 malls in the capital area; Kringlan in Reykjavík and the newer Smáralind in neighboring Kópavogur. Though keep in mind, everything in Iceland probably costs more than it does back home. Items can be as much as 3-4 times the price in neighboring countries, mainly because of taxes (24.5% sales tax on products, 7% on books), import duties and so on, though there are exceptions to this rule.

Sales tax is always included in the sticker price. All foreign visitors are entitled to claim back the tax if they spend 4,000 krona or more in one shop in one day. Iceland is not a member of the European Union, so visitors from all European countries are entitled to sales tax refunding. Icelanders living abroad are also entitled to sales tax refunding.

Eat

Budget

Food in Iceland can be expensive. In order not to break the bank, you'll need to be smart when eating. On the budget side, you're mostly looking at international-type fast food options common to what you'd find in Europe and America.

Try one of the Hot-Dog places that are found everywhere. This German import has become thoroughly Iceland-ized. A dog should set you back 260ISK (August 2009). Ask for "Eina með öllu", a hot dog with everything on it. Deeeeelicious.

  • Bæjarins bestu, Hafnarstræti 17 (by the harbor). 24/7. The name of this popular hot dog stand literally means "Town's Best" and, based on the queues, it seems to deserve the name. 260 ISK.  edit
  • 10-11 is a chain of convenience stores with plenty of ready-to-eat items such as sandwiches, wraps, and surprisingly enough, tacos. 10-11 is always open but is considered expensive by Icelanders, that's why you see most Icelanders shop for food at BONUS (open 10-18) which offers the cheapest prices you can find.
  • Even better, you can find a fish shop which will sell you some ridiculously fresh and absolutely delicious fish, at a very reasonable price, and cook it yourself with some potatoes and vegetables. It'll be really nice. The fish shop could be in Kolaportid, a downtown market which only opens on weekends, or alternatively you could look up one of the many fish shops (fiskbúð) all around town.
  • There are tons of cafes everywhere in the city that are relatively inexpensive and a great place to sit, relax, and warm up. You can also check your e-mails if you bring your computer, as there is free Wi-Fi in most of them. Kaffitar and Te & Kaffi are comparatively large chains and serve great barrista style coffee, that might however be on the expensive side.
  • In addition to its restaurant, Perlan also has a cafe. You can eat with (almost) the same view and a much cheaper price!
  • There are a lot of cheap Thai restaurants around the capital, often run by Thai families. You will usually get large portions at a good price.

Mid-range

There are many fantastic fish restaurants in Reykjavik. The more expensive ones are down by the harbour or in the centre, if you're not so rich try heading towards the old town. Við Tjörnina is always a good choice. Plan on at least 2,000 ISK for any meal not in a budget/fast-food restaurant. Seriously.

  • Vegamot, Vegamótastíg 4, Reykjavik ph: (+354) 511-3040 (email: mailto:vegamot@vegamot.is) [28] A decent fast food restaurant during the day and a happening nightclub after hours. The age limit of 22 on Friday and Saturday nights is somewhat of a buzzkill even for those of legal drinking age here. The Lobster pasta is the restaurant's signature dish and well worth tasting.
  • Þrír frakkar hjá Úlfari (3 Frenchmen (or overcoats) at Ulfar's), Baldursgata 14. [29] A nice seafood restaurant. Serves big meals for a moderate price. Their lunch plokkfiskur special is legendary. They serve whalemeat, both raw (as sashimi) and cooked, to those willing to try. 2700ISK is a normal price for just the main dish. This is a convenient price; whale is less expensive in other port towns. They serve a strange (and delicious) cake, skyrterta, made from the Icelandic skyr, this cake alone is worth the visit.
  • Á Næstu Grösum (The First Vegetarian), Laugavegur 20b, 552 9410, [30]. A friendly vegetarian restaurant in the city centre, has a vegan option and attempts to use as much organic produce as possible.  edit
  • Kaffi Reykjavik, Vesturgata 2, 552 3030 (), [31]. A good central restaurant, aimed a little more toward the tourist crowd it does however deliver decent food. The lamb is good. Also contains an ice bar.  edit
  • Austur India Fjelagid, Hverfisgata 56, Reykjavik ph: (+354) 552-1630 [32] One of few Indian restaurants in Reykjavik. It serves very good food though and can be compared to the top tier Indian restaurants in London.
  • Saegreifinn (Seabaron), Verbúð 6 (At the harbour, near the whale watching kiosk), [33]. 10:00-18:00. An extremely authentic place, serves a wonderful lobster soup and offers grilled cod, whale, shrimps, salmon, etc. Excellent atmosphere, a must-see! 800-2500 ISK (~6.40-20€).  edit
  • Shalimar. A little Indian restaurant packed into a tiny building just near the main square. Delicious food, and a very friendly wait staff.
  • Indian Mango, Frakkastigur 12 (just off laugavegur downtown(mainhopping street)), 5517722, [34]. 17.00 till late. Indian Mango is a Gourmet Indian Restaurant with Gluten Free food(all main courses),Amazingly healthy vegetarian options including Lactose Free courses are available as well. They also use Icelandic lobster, Scallops, Lamb, guillemot, Artic Char, Monk Fish and Duck. Four seasons presentation skills! Do try their mouth watering desserts, A must is their Indian Mango Cocktail among other things. Great press reviews they have earned incl."New type of indian cuisine in iceland like never seen before...wonderful food" " ...Best addition to Reykjavik Restaurant landscape in recent years..." Cosy romantic Atmosphere... mid range.  edit
  • Sjavarkjallarinn, Adalstraeti 2, Reykjavik ph: (+354) 511-1211 (email: mailto:info@sjavarkjallarinn.is) [35] A great seafood restaurant, a must for those who prefer fish. Be aware though that it is very popular so reserving a table is probably required.
  • Humarhusid (The Lobster house) Amtmannsstig 1, Reykjavik 101 ph: (+354) 561 3303 (email: mailto:humarhusid@humarhusid.is) [36] On the expensive end, but has exquisite food that the prices reflect.
  • Perlan ph:(+354) 562 0200 (email: mailto:perlan@perlan.is, fax:(+354) 562 0207) [37] A better bet would be to head to the top of the hill and dine at the amazing restaurant here (which also has wonderful gelato at the cafe below where you can walk outside the Pearl and see full 360 degree views of Reykjavik below). Perlan is an expensive place to dine but of course it's pretty unique and gives you a second-to-none view over Reykjavik so it's understandable how they can push the prices up. Plenty of Icelanders seem to like to dress up and go for a posh meal there so it's not just for tourists. If you dine at the Perlan be sure to have the lamb, absolutely fantastic.
  • Domo, Þingholtsstræti 5, 552 5588 (), [38]. A top class restaurant like Sjávarkjallarinn.  edit
  • Grillið, Radison SAS - Hagatorg, 525 9960, [39]. A classic French restaurant that has been open for service for over forty years.  edit
  • Hotel Holt, Bergstaðastræti 37, 552 5700, [40]. A staple of the city's up-scale dining landscape. Thick carpets, art over dark wood panels, french cuisine, an extensive wine cellar, the country's most expansive collection of single malts.  edit

Drink

Considered to have some of the best nightlife in all of Europe, it can be almost guaranteed that you haven't really "partied" until you've done it here. That fact is proven by the amount of celebrities who come specifically for it.

Drinking is expensive - expect to pay between 600 and 900 ISK for a draft pint at a bar. Bottled beers and mixed drinks are more expensive, and sometimes outlandishly so. Despite the cost, going out in Reykjavik is a fun experience. Since alcohol is expensive at Reykjavík bars and clubs, Icelanders usually buy their alcohol at the government owned liquor stores (Vínbúðin, called Ríkið by locals) and stay at home drinking until about midnight (or later), then they will wander to the bars. Do not expect bars and clubs to become crowded until about 1AM (at least). Some bars charge a cover of 500-2,000ISK after midnight on weekends.

Bars are open until 1AM on weeknights, but most will stay open until 7AM on Friday and Saturday. On the weekend, live music is easy to find in some of Reykjavík's bars.

There is an ice bar in Restaurant Reykjavík where all the furniture and the bar are made from glacial ice. This seems like an interesting place to go, however, as a warning, you will be charged 1300ISK for entry which includes a single vodka-based cocktail in what is effectively an atmosphere and music-free deep freezer. You cannot bring in or buy more drinks, if you are keen for novelty it is good, otherwise perhaps not worth the money.

  • Kaffibarinn, Bergstaðarstaeti 1, +354 551 1588.  edit
  • b5, Bankastraeti 5, +354 552 9600 (), [41]. +354 580 8609.  edit
  • Kofi Tómasar frænda, Laugavegi 2, +354 551 1855.  edit
  • Club 101, Hafnarstræti 1-3, +354 551 0022.  edit
  • Bar 11, Laugavegi 11, +354 511 1180.  edit
  • Hressingarskálinn, Austurstræti 20, +354 561 2240, [42].  edit
  • Café Cultura, Hverfisgata 18, +354 530 9314. Café Cultura, on the ground floor of the Intercultural House in downtown Reykjavík, is a Café by day, restaurant by evening and club by night. It has a very international crowd, is popular with exchange students and other foreigners living in Reykjavík.  edit
  • Dillon Rock Bar, Laugavegur 30, +354 5782424, [43]. Serving drinks at moderate prices, Dillon Rock Bar has become quite the attraction for the Icelandic music industry, rockers, hipsters, students, businessmen, family folk and famed Hollywood actors over the past decade. During the summertime you can enjoy a cold one in the sun in Dillon´s Beergarden and catch outdoor festivals over the summer. Catch a live band, have a chat with the friendly staff or join the mixed up group on Saturday nights when the 60 year old DJ Andrea rocks the joint and join the family of friends at this century old house of fun. Hours: Mon-Thu 16pm-1am Fri-Sat 14pm-3am  edit
  • The English Pub, Austurstræti 12, +354 578 0400.  edit
  • The Celtic Cross, Hverfisgata 26, +354 511 3240.  edit

Sleep

Be warned that there is very little in the way of affordable lodging in Iceland, particularly if you are traveling with a family.

  • Laugardalur Campsite Sundlaugavegur 34, 105, +354 568 6944 (email: info@reykjavikcampsite.is, fax: +354 588 9201) [44] open May 15th - Sep 15th. The cheapest place to stay in Reykjavík, and approx. 30 min walk from the city centre, or a short bus journey. The campsite is big and offers decent washing and cooking facilities and people often leave their leftover camping stove fuel for others after leaving Iceland! (Fuel is really expensive in Iceland!) On cold and rainy days, Iceland's biggest pool is situated right next door! Clothes can also be washed at the neighbouring youth hostel.
  • Reykjavík Backpackers Laugavegur 28, 101 +354 5783700 (email: info@reykjavikbackpackers.com[45] Reykjavík Backpackers is a brand new hostel in the heart of Reykjavík City. It´s run by travelers and adventures with hopes of creating a great place for other travelers and adventurers to sleep and relax as they visit Iceland's capital city! Reykjavik Backpacker is the backpackers choice for accommodation in Reykjavik. The hostel is located on Laugavegur, the main shopping street right in downtown Reykjavik.
  • Reykjavík City Hostel Sundlaugavegur 34, 104, +354 553 8110, (email: info@hostel.is, fax: +354 588 9201) [46] Open all year. The only youth hostel in the city, with excellent facilities. Dorm beds start at 1500ISK during the winter, rising in the summer. Private rooms also available. Book early.
  • Reykjavík Central Guesthouse Bólstaðahlíð 8, +354 552 2822, [47] Open all year. Offers single, double, triple and quadruple rooms as well as dorm beds that are actually cheaper than the City Hostel. Dorm beds start at 1800ISK and a single room at 3600ISK.
  • Hjálpræðisherinn, Salvation army Guesthouse, Kirkjustræti 2 101 Reykjavik. [48] Very cheap and very good. Best place to stay in central Reykjavik!
  • Gistihusid Isafold (Isafold Guesthouse), Barugata. [49] Very comfortable and accommodating
  • Guesthouse Andrea Njardargata, +354 899 5597, (email: Siggi on sigurdur@danol.is) Great location in the city centre, relatively small, extremely nice and clean. Also offers low-budget accommodation in dorms.
  • Guesthouse SunnaThorsgata 26, +354-511-5570, [50] great guesthouse located in one of the most iconic places in Reykjavik--right across the square from Hallgrimskirkja. Very clean, very comfortable, with friendly service, and internet. They also include breakfast in the morning, with fresh bread baked on the premises. A little on the expensive side--11600 kr for a single room. Another great feature is their airport/tour bus service.
  • 101 Hotel, Hverfisgata 10, 101 Reykjavík, +354 580 0101, (email: 101hotel@101hotel.is), [51]
  • Hótel Borg, Pósthússtræti 11, 101 Reykjavík, +354 551 1440, (email: hotelborg@hotelborg.is),[52]
  • Hotel Holt, Bergstaðastræti 37, 101 Reykjavík, +354 552 5700 (email: holt@holt.is), [53]
  • Hilton Nordica, Suðurlandsbraut 2, 108 Reykjavík, +354 444 5000, (email: icehotels@icehotels.is), [54]

Contact

Though Icelandic is the official language, English is spoken quite fluently by almost everyone you will meet and you should have no problems when it comes to communication.

Stay safe

Iceland is considered one of the safest countries in the world. Just be sure to avoid the fights that break out amongst the most intoxicated partiers in bars and most often on the street on weekends. However most people are incredibly friendly and police are also friendly and very helpful.

Recently, however, petty thefts in Reykjavík have occasionally occurred. In addition, the female traveler would do well to exercise good judgment when walking alone at night. Rape is rare, but more occurs twice as often as in other nordic countries, Still, even with these issues, Reykjavík is much safer than most other western cities, and certainly safer than the larger capitals of other countries.

The winos generally hang in the area around the Hlemmur bus station or on Austurvöllur park. They usually don't bother people, not even to ask for spare change even though they might seem to act strangely.

Cope

Even though Reykjavík doesn´t have a large population, traffic during rush hour (16:00-18:30) can be a nightmare. This is due to the exploding car population, along with a narrow street system. If you are planning on going somewhere by car or bus, try to do it after around 16:00-18:30 as this is when most of motorists arrive home from work. The same goes for the mornings (07:45-09:00).

If you can bear to be asked by almost every Icelander you meet "How do you like Iceland?" you're all set for the trip.

  • Canada, [55].  edit
  • United States, Laufásvegur 21 101 Reykjavík, (354) 562-9100, [56]. Monday through Friday from 8:00 to 17:00..  edit
  • Þingvellir National Park is located about an hour and a quarter's drive to the east of Reykjavík, here you can see the canyon caused by the Eurasian and north American plates moving apart. It is also home to the original Alþingi (Parliament) and several other cultural treasures. These factors have seen it added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  • Gullfoss A spectacular waterfall (which translates as Golden Falls) and one of the nearest big waterfalls to Reykjavík
  • Geysir Geothermal hot spot

The first three are normally all included on the Golden Circle tour, a one-day circuit which can be done by coach trip or hire car.

  • Hafnarfjörður is a town just outside Reykjavík
  • Blue Lagoon (Blaá Lonið in Icelandic) is a famous geothermal spa south-west of Reykjavík, not far from the main airport at Keflavík.
  • Blue Biking (+354 565-2089) [57] offers day tours from Reykjavík and multi-day biking and hiking tours.
  • Ishestar Riding Tours (+354 555-7000) [58] has a variety of day tours around Reykjavík or multi-day trips.
  • Ultima Thule Expeditions (+354 567-8978) [59] provides sea kayak and ski day trips from Reykjavík and multi-day trips for groups. No scheduled individual tours.

By booking a trans-Atlantic ticket on Icelandair with a free "stop-over" of up to a week in Reykjavík, you can follow a visit to Iceland with a visit to London, Paris, Glasgow, Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, or another city in Europe, or to Washington, D.C., Boston, Orlando, New York, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle, or another U.S. city.

This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Reykjavik

Contents

English

Etymology

From Icelandic Reykjavík (bay of smokes).

Alternative spellings

Proper noun

Singular
Reykjavík

Plural
-

Reykjavík

  1. The capital of Iceland

Translations


Estonian

Etymology

From the Icelandic Reykjavík (bay of smokes).

Proper noun

Reykjavík

  1. Reykjavik (capital of Iceland):

French

Etymology

From Icelandic Reykjavík (bay of smokes).

Proper noun

Reykjavík

  1. Reykjavik

Icelandic

Etymology

Literally “bay of smokes”, from Old Norse Reykjavík, from reykir, plural of reykr (smoke) (the plural form is widely used in Icelandic placenames) + vík (bay).

Pronunciation

  • IPA: [ˈreiːcaˌviːk]

Proper noun

Reykjavík f.

  1. Reykjavik

Old Norse

Etymology

From reykir, plural of reykr (smoke) + vík (bay).

Proper noun

Reykjavík f.

  1. Reykjavik (referring to the bay between Seltjarnarnes and the mouth of the Elliðaár and the farm nearby where Ingólfr Arnarson lived)

Descendants


Simple English

Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this name.








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